Rydal Penrhos School puts great emphasis on equipping its Sixth formers with ‘skills for life’ that will enhance their future careers.
The last week of the summer term is ‘Activities Week’ and activities are organised to complement the skills, values and learning deemed appropriate for young people aspiring to take on leadership roles in preparation for life beyond Rydal Penrhos.
In Year 12, two days are spent on a Leadership course and a day spent on UCAS preparation. UCAS is the organisation responsible for managing applications to almost all full-time undergraduate degree programmes at UK universities and colleges. Our staff prepare our pupils for every step of the application process.
In Year 13, once the A-level or IB examination programme is complete, pupils are entitled to leave the school although they may remain to participate in an individualised programme of study which offers the opportunity for them to develop a range of complementary skills.
The Activities programme
For Year 11 and the Sixth form on a Wednesday, the whole afternoon is focused on the development of skills, values and understanding of a wide range of adventurous and other activities. These opportunities are built on through school team representation and opportunities for extended experiences at weekends or during holidays through expeditions and tours. In the past two years the school has taken sports tours to Australia, South Africa and Holland, whilst a community based project saw some of our Sixth form pupils visit Uganda in June 2009, 2011 and 2013 to support the development programme. There will be a trip to Uganda in 2015
Committees and Leadership Opportunities
The school recognises the importance of enhancing the leadership qualities of the Sixth form as it helps to make the pupils ‘all-rounded’ individuals. There are significant opportunities to ‘lead’ in such things as sport, drama and music. In addition, leadership is formalised via a two day Leadership Course for the whole of the Lower Sixth which is used as part of the process of selecting school prefects who are then empowered to lead the rest of the school via a number of committees, namely, Charity, Social, Sustainable Development and Management. These include the Sixth form Charity Committee, which raises money for various charities throughout the year. It runs events such as Red Nose day, Children in Need and Jeans for Genes day; the Sixth form Management Committee, created to give the Sixth form a voice when it comes to some school decisions; the Social Committee, and the Eco Committee.
The Sixth form careers programme focuses on higher education. Throughout the Sixth form, pupils are given information and skills that will enable them to make informed choices. There are over 57,000 degree courses available and it is our aim to make sure pupils apply to the courses most appropriate to their abilities and future career aspirations. We aim to ensure they are given the necessary support and guidance to enable them to gain places on the most competitive courses in the country.
Applications in the UK are handled by UCAS; students begin the formal application process, and start the personal statement, which is the cornerstone of a successful application, at the end of the Lower Sixth. However, before the formal application process starts, we run a comprehensive tutorial system in preparation for this, where pupils have the opportunity to take the COA centigrade test for course selection, visit a UCAS Higher Education fair, access the careers library as well as open days and attend specialist days for subjects such as Law and Medicine.
In the Upper Sixth, pupils are mentored by their tutors to help them prepare their personal statement and choose courses. All applications are monitored before being sent off electronically with an accompanying reference. Pupils are also given vital interview practice. The Head of Careers and UCAS is available to offer advice and guidance throughout the process. Support is additionally provided on results day and after pupils have left school if they wish to apply through UCAS.
The school supports pupils wishing to apply to universities in other parts of the world, including mainland Europe and the USA.